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Hackers have figured out how to break the 3DS region locking

Hackers have discovered a way to break the Nintendo 3DS region-locking without encouraging piracy.

region-lock-banner

Earlier this year when it was announced that the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One would be released region-free, several Nintendo fans took to the internet to try and encourage Nintendo to release the Wii U and the Nintendo 3DS as well. Nintendo stands firmly against the idea, but despite this a few enterprising hackers seem to have found a way to bypass region locking on the Nintendo 3DS in a way that doesn’t encourage piracy.

According to the hackers, this method allows you to play imported games from any region and does not support ROMs. As with most of these hacks, firmware older than version 4.5 is needed, so newly updated systems won’t be able to take advantage of this. The hack works by running a special patched launcher file that modifies the system in order to load cartridges form other regions.

It’s an interesting step in breaking region-locking without the downside of piracy.

[via Tiny Cartridge]

Around the web
  • Mario

    I’m not sure that Nintendo is gonna be happy when they hear about this.

    • Miles “Tails” Prower

      They won’t be they are going to find a way to stop this. Unless they don’t want region lock anymore.

      • Mario

        Maybe.

      • Assassinated23

        The newer updates already block this. It only works if you have a 3DS that hasn’t been updated in a while. As such there is really nothing Nintendo needs to do.

      • Wayne Beck

        There is one very important word to justify Nintendo’s insistence on Region Locking.

        “China”

  • Decker Shado

    Ahh! Genius! Convenient! Now I don’t need to get a japanese 3DS. All I need to do is get another 3DS (as mine is updated) and get the modified launcher, and make sure it never gets updated….

    ….While it’s certainly “a way” I’d venture to say it’s not going to be used very much, as it’s quicker than shipping out a Japanese 3DS, but not as probable to work – and costs about the same to pursue, if you want to keep your regular 3DS for online stuff and the spare for imported games.

    On the other hand, it can cover all regions, and not just the 1 an imported model can.. Still, aren’t workarounds supposed to be at least a little easier than just dealing with it?

  • Kelly

    I really hate the region lock. I recently moved from The Netherlands to the USA and I cannot use my wii games (european) on my american wii U so I have to keep both – and I also have a european 3ds so I can’t buy any new games for it over here unless I download them from the european eshop. Ugh.

  • Cahone

    Nintendo fears mature games leaking into america.

  • Johny

    Well, since it doesn’t condone piracy, i fully support it actually. and when the hack comes to fruition, i’m gonna go for it too. If i hate anything, is that i can’t play awesome japanese games i love as an avid anime/vocaloid lover

  • Nope.avi

    No other console currently has region lock. Nintendo seriously needs to get with the times, nothing bad comes from a region free console.

    • TaintedXGamer

      so if we wanted to go online 2 buy a 3DS game that is only exclusive in japan and play it on our “region Free” 3DS, that’s a bad thing, Nintendo?

  • Adam Fox

    Considering that FW 4.5 is a pretty old firmware, nor can it go online, I think its aimed more at a niche market, I have a GateWay 3DS myself and its a pretty cool way to test out games and see if you like it. I really do enjoy Zelda: ALBW and will buy it before too long, but until then, enjoy it on the GateWay….I used to be all about pirating games way back in the PS1 days when I was younger and couldn’t afford games but was missing out on alot of stuff so I got a modded PS1 and pirated the crap out of games….now I do it in moderation and use it for testing games out…to me its no different than renting them…i’ll get a game and play it for 3 or 4 days….if I don’t like it, delete it, otherwise i’ll go buy it. I know that doesn’t make it right….but thats just the way I do it…:)

  • Logan Wayman

    Good job, guys!!! Now do the same for the Wii U!